Greeters from all of us down here in the Dominican! This message comes from a happy, healthy, and moderately well slept missions team of 11 students and 4 leaders.
We left the States after meeting at the church at 3:40 in the morning!!! We took a smooth flight down and landed around 11:15 and meet up with Pastor Jay and Principal Eric Morris. We loaded our luggage into a van, had lunch at Burger King, and then went to learn what we were getting into.
Our first stop was an old Catholic church. The city of San Pedro is home to one of the first Catholic churches ever built in the Americas, so we toured around there to get an understanding of what a very Catholic culture is like. After that, we went to see the Timothy Project Library, a library founded by Pastor Jay to aid the discipleship/outreach project he runs. Here, we got a fuller understanding of what he does and what we were here to do.
After that, we spent some time handing out Bibles in front of a major university. In about 15 minutes, we were able to hand out almost 200 Bibles, a feat that seems impossible in America. It was great to see the excitement on the faces of the kids as we got to reach out with the word of God.
Today, we started by going to the Timothy Project. This is a project run by Pastor Jay reaching out to kids in the community. Every Saturday, over 100 kids come to his facility in the city of Guaymate to received 2 meals and an education in the word of God. We sat in on a spanish class and then got time to play with the kids. These are the same kids we will be running a type of VBS for later in the week, so it was great to establish some relationships. Things were a little timid at first, but everyone warmed up nicely and bonded. For lunch, the women at the facility prepared rice and beans and ate with the kids.
After that, we went to see some of the sugarcane villages where they have planted churches. These villages are inhabited by Haitians who were brought over specifically to work the fields. The Haitians were brought over with the promise of work but were denied legal papers and cannot now go anywhere else. They are paid very little and are not citizens, so they are in a deep level of poverty. This was very eye opening for our kids.
We stopped at Dominos for dinner, spent some time hanging out at the hotel pool, and then had a great time reading the word together and talking about the first two days. We are excited for what the rest of this trip will bring.
More updates will come as the trip goes on. God bless you all, thank you for your prayers, and we’re excited to see you all soon.